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Debbie Hadley

Friday Fact - Stump Stabbers

By December 14, 2012

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The giant ichneumon wasp, Megarhyssa atrata, is sometimes called the stump stabber. This remarkable wasp can penetrate wood up to a depth of over 5 inches! The female's long ovipositor secretes chemicals that help break down the wood fibers, so she can deposit her eggs deep inside logs or stumps. Why does she do this? In the larval stage, this wasp parasitizes woodwasp young, which develop inside downed trees.


December 14, 2012 at 8:56 pm
(1) Bob Carlson says:

Ugh. I also see a photo of an Echthrus species labeled as a stump stabber. As a person who has been fairly intimately familiar with the family for 45 years, I have never hear the term stump stabber applied to species of Megarhyssa or other ichneumonids that sometimes parasitize stump-feeding insects.

December 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm
(2) Rick Westcott says:

That isn’t what most workers in the forest call them!

July 22, 2013 at 10:27 pm
(3) Derrick sell says:

Can stump stabbers hurt humans

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